Local hospitals use new heating system for surgical patients - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/30/10

Local hospitals use new heating system for surgical patients

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By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Remember a few weeks ago we told you about the new Bear Paws System, a heated hospital gown for patients as they go into and come out of surgery.  Well, it turns out UMC and Covenant have something very similar.  It's not a gown, but a warming blanket.

Dr. Cynthia Brown, the Director of Anesthesiology at Covenant Women and Children's Hospital, says they've learned that keeping the patient warm helps them fight off infection and it speeds up the healing process.  Also, you probably know that if you're scheduled for surgery, you're not allowed to eat or drink within a certain number of hours.  Dr. Brown says there's a good reason for that.

"Don't eat on the way to the hospital, you can't believe how many times that somebody has stopped and eaten a burrito on the way to the hospital," said Dr. Brown.  "Aspiration is a concern for an anesthesiologist, people with food or liquids in their stomachs can aspirate with the induction of anesthesia or when they're waking from anesthesia."  

Dr. Brown says it can be very dangerous, even fatal if a person throws up during surgery and it goes into the lungs.  So remember, sneaking a snack or drink before surgery could risk your safety or at the very least, force your doctor to delay the procedure by six hours.

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